I work with adults and kids with social anxiety, developmental disabilities, autism, chronic illness, or who just feel "different."
Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA
Before my career as a therapist, I worked for many years with people with developmental disabilities and have a great deal of knowledge and experience in working with people (children and adults) with disabilities. There's a terrible stereotype that people with developmental disabilities don't have real feelings - that their anger, sadness, or anxiety are simply a part of their diagnosis. Not true. People with developmental disabilities have real needs, feelings, and emotional depth.
In addition to my private practice, I have worked part-time at schools since 2013. I absolutely love working with kids and teens. I see that our kids are speaking to us but not always with words. Sometimes they hurt themselves or others or they withdraw or shut down. Some yell and get angry for no apparent reason. Others are so sensitive that they cry at the drop of a hat. In therapy, we listen to what these symptoms are really saying to us, so we can respond wisely.
There are many ways of hearing a your story. Some people love talking, but others might speak through play, art, dramatic enactment, crafts, engineered projects, poetry, or movement.
Play therapy is a way to communicate with a child in their language. In play, kids will show me how they feel. Once I understand, I can help them communicate these feelings with you, their caregiver.
I call myself a psychoanalytic therapist because this kind of therapy draws on the entire lineage of psychology theory but has well adapted to the issues and concerns of our times. Contemporary psychoanalytic scholars and clinicians are actively engaged with issues of race, gender, social and political inequality, and substance use. This approach is less focused on quick-fixes and more focused on lasting change and overall wellbeing. However, solutions arise naturally in the process.
Chronic pain and illness often feels like a shameful burden we must carry alone. When holding chronic illness, we have less bandwidth to seek out compassion and support, leaving us feeling even more invisible. So few are willing to engage in real-talk about our bodies and mortality. I am able to hold and bear discussion of the loss of lifestyle, change, and effect on relationships that comes with working with a disability.
In addition to my private practice, I have worked part-time in schools as an on-campus therapist since 2013. I absolutely love working with kids and teens! I have worked with kids who are holding trauma, working with symptoms of anxiety, shyness, autism spectrum, ADHD, depression, grief, and self-harm.